A few minutes ago, I received dreadful news. Yasmin Ahmad just blew her last breath. Yasmin Ahmad passed away. You're not sad. I'm not sad. We're all not sad. Yet.
Loss is a peculiar feeling. It is a slowest emotion among its peers. In a marathon for emotions, Loss is the good-spirited handicapped man who smiles his way to the finishing line. If Loss is acute and easily susceptible, couples won't split in haste, young mothers won't throw away their babies, parents won't disown their children and you will cry right now.
But you are not crying. Loss is slow. Loss is now and here. And yet it is nowhere.
For people who are fans of Yasmin Ahmad, we will miss her heart tugging films and advertisments. We will miss her blog updates. We will miss her selection of favourite movies. We will miss all that, and more.
For people who are friends and family of Yasmin Ahmad, we will miss her spirit and soul. We will miss her presence when she comes into a room of people. We will miss her lingering touch and her infectious smile. We will miss her frown and cussing. We will miss all that, and more.
For people who thinks Yasmin Ahmad is a bad influence, we will miss her ambiguous sexuality. We will miss her provocative movie scenes. We will miss her struggle as a filmmaker. We will miss prebooking empty seats of her movies during the premiere. We will miss all that, and more.
For people like me, who idolised Yasmin Ahmad, we will, we will live on. That we will do. We will live on.
For everyone else in any of the above categories or feel that they belong nowhere of the sort, you will, at some point, miss her. Long before Najib proposed the 1Malaysia idea, she pioneered a string of advertisments and films that depicts and highlights the very essence of Malaysia: unity. She didn't make up all the sentiments. The sentiments were there and bare. She simply gave it some light and recorded in a camera and yet so many of us despised her for doing so.
Why are we so afraid of the truth? Why do we like to think that we live in a world where couples are inaffectionate, people of different race are not allowed to love each other and religions are used as tools of war? Why do we believe that we're living in that world when we live in a world full of love, tolerance and understanding? Why are we so pessimistic?
Yasmin Ahmad was an avid and constant optimist.
She saw the light that we all felt but looked away. She opened her eyes when all of us closed ours. She looked up when all of us looked down.
We refused to accept the source of the light, that the light is coming from one direction. We closed our eyes and looked down. We badmouthed Yasmin Ahmad who refused to do anything bothersome like to close her eyes or look down. Why would she when it is easier to bask in the light and be amazed by its many rays.
Yasmin Ahmad didn't stay mum and enjoyed the light to herself. She wanted everybody to open their eyes. She wanted everybody to look up. So she showed us a fragment of the light through our television screens and cinemas Some turned away. Some opened their eyes but closed their hearts. Some close their eyes and heart.
She's now no longer with us. Yasmin Ahmad passed away.
But she didn't leave us empty handed. She left us a mission. To continue her life work and promote unity and love and understanding. To showcase what is there and bare. To tell stories with conviction of its truth. To spread the word of love.
Today on this very solemn Sunday, people of all race and religion are opening their eyes but looking down at a person that will be dearly missed. Compromised by her condition, Yasmin Ahmad has no other choice but to close her eyes. But she is looking up, hoping that we too, with our already opened eyes would follow her by looking up to bask in the light with the company of each other, united as 1.